Sewing Fiend

16 11 2013

I’ve done a lot of sewing lately, especially today. I woke up at four o’clock this morning, for some weird reason, and then decided that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep again. So, I started sewing.

However, before we get to today’s sewing… Last week Saturday was Stitch ‘N’ Bitch. I brought softies to show, but also finished a softie dress:

Softie Dress

I love the fabric that I used in the skirt!

I also got most of the way through a Swoon block, but finished it up at home. I realized today, that each one of these blocks is taking almost an entire bobbin of thread.

Swoon 10

Yes, I’m being picky when I cut the center square. As much as possible, I’m fussy cutting.

Today, I completed two more Swoon blocks:

Swoon 11

Swoon 12

This puts me at twelve Swoon blocks. I now only need four more to have enough for my top. I’m seriously considering pushing through and trying to finish the top this weekend. The only trouble is that these blocks take freaking forever. There’s a lot of subunits to put together before I even get to piecing the block itself.

Once I’d hit that point, I decided I needed a break from Swoon blocks. I also remembered that it’s the middle of November, and that I need to make my swap blocks for this month. I completed the Granny Bee blocks for this month:

Granny Block Bee 35
Granny Block Bee 36

Suzy requested her blocks to be any color, as long as they were a solid. Easy enough, because I still had solids leftover from the The Farmer’s Wife Sampler.

Granny Block Bee 37

Granny Block Bee 38

Jodie requested blocks in two small prints, with the fabrics to be in high contrast. I might yet remake the green and pink one. Converting the photo to gray scale tells me there’s a value difference, but it’s not what I’d call high contrast.

We’ll see how I feel after I’ve taken a nap. As I write this, it’s 8:23 PM, and I’ve been up for sixteen hours. I don’t mind, and could probably make it a little longer, but I’m definitely drowsy. In fact, that nap sounds amazing! Here’s to that nap, and to getting a quilt top done this weekend.


More Softies

9 11 2013

So, since the weekend, I’ve made two more softies and two sets of pajamas.

Meet White

Zeb named this one White, and decided she is Black’s sister. I’m just going with it. I overstuffed the arms and legs on this one, which made it difficult to put the whole thing together. White has this weird pinch going on at the crotch which just irritates me, but I’m not taking the stuffing out and unpicking to fix it. White’s staying at home, anyway.

White also uses the Meep pattern from Shiny Happy World. I remember to fold over the ears, so there’s less of a sheep look to white.

Cat Softie

This one doesn’t have a name yet. I made this kitty softie for me, from the Pip pattern from Shiny Happy World. I used my all-time favorite fabric, because who could resist a cat made out of sugar skull fabric? Definitely not me!

This softie went together very smoothly. Practicing on Black and White made this one go quickly.

Elephant Pajamas

Once I’d made Black and White, I decided to try my hand pajamas. I started with some novelty-ish elephant fabric from Joann’s. I saw this remnant in the bin and grabbed it without even thinking about it. This particular fabric practically demanded to be made into softie pajamas!

Not perfect – I put the cut out for tails too high, and I had some issues putting the shirt together. The instructions aren’t as clear as they could be in some places, and it seems like the photos aren’t showing what they should. This might be me, and the fact that I printed my instructions in gray scale.

Floral Pajamas

Tonight, once I got home, I decided that I needed to do a second set of pajamas. These worked out much better, though I still ran into some difficulty in working the shirt up. I think the next time I make these, I’ll be able to just follow my gut, and override what the instructions are telling me to do. I did a little bit of that tonight, so I could end up with a slightly more finished product. This fabric is also from Joann’s.

Tomorrow’s a Stitch ‘N’ Bitch day, so I’m going to plan on chugging through a bunch of Swoon blocks, but once I get home, I’m definitely murdering a Muppet again, and making another cat softie in the hot pink faux fur. I’d do it at Sandi’s but I don’t want to leave errant pink fur everywhere. I might cut fabric, though, for a dress.

I want to dress the cat softie in an Elegant Gothic Lolita type outfit. I don’t have embellishments for it, but I think it’ll be hilarious and adorable. First thing’s first though… running through a test of the dress pattern. I want to make sure of how it does together, so I’ll be making a dress out of some quilting cotton that I otherwise wouldn’t use. These softies are a great way of using fabric that I’m no longer in love with.

A Bit of a Departure

2 11 2013

Normally, I’m just into piecing and quilting.

Kiddo’s birthday is coming up at the end of the month, though, and I wanted to make him something. There isn’t much that I’ve made specifically for Zeb, and I figure that it’s time to start rectifying that. Part of that is motivated by the knowledge that I’m just not going to be able to dress kiddo off the rack. He’s tall and skinny, and promises to just get taller.

So, I’m reasonably sure that apparel sewing is in my future…

And I’m trying to convince myself that I can do it by tackling other, non-quilty projects.

Like softies:

Meet BlackMeet Black.

Kiddo’s already seen him, and has taken him with to go visit with Grandma this weekend. I plan on making a kitty softie to be friends with Black, and clothes for them to dress in.

I’m using Shiny Happy World’s Dress Up Bunch patterns, available here. Black is from the Meep pattern. I just forgot to fold over the ears when I sewed them into the head. Overall, I’m very happy with the pattern instructions for Meep. They were detailed and well-illustrated, with the exception of forgetting to remind users to reverse the pattern pieces when tracing out the leg pieces and back panels – one needs to flip over the pattern and trace the reverse image to successfully end up with two legs, and not just four leg pieces, or two panels for the same half of the back. Mind you, this isn’t a problem if you’re using a fabric where there is no wrong-side, but it’s very important when using a print or a faux fur, like I did. Thankfully, I had enough foresight to think things through before I got to cutting.

By the way – faux fur?

My sewing area still looks like I murdered a Muppet. And I’m pretty sure I got stray fur up my nose, and I desperately needed a shower after finishing Black, so that I wouldn’t feel like I did after installing fiber glass insulation in my father’s attic (which is to say, itching like I’d rolled in poison ivy). That stuff got everywhere, and my work areas are covered in shiny pastel blue remains. And that’s after vacuuming everything.

Anyway – for those of you who are interested in trying your hands at making softies, I would definitely recommend the Dress Up Bunch patterns – they’re even 25% off through 04 November 2013, using coupon code HANDMADEHOLIDAY.

I’ll take some in progress photos of my next softie attempt. I’ll be using that blue faux fur again, I think, but different fabric for the face. Black uses reclaimed fabric from some jeans where the inner thighs wore out for his face. I want to use up the entire half yard of each of the faux furs I bought, so I’ll be putting the extra softies away, just waiting for a certain newborn to grow old enough to appreciate them.

Alternatively, I’m considering making these, and clothes, and opening an Etsy shop. Black wasn’t so time-consuming that I hated it, or resented the time invested. Really, it took me about two hours. With practice, that’ll be even less.

Speaking of… I have another quarter yard of that blue faux fur to start working with.